Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S3 overtook Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4S in the U.S. smartphone market in August for the first time since the Apple gadget was released, a report showed Wednesday.
“We believe this is the first month since the iPhone 4S launched in October 2011 that it was not the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. market,” said T. Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, in a report for U.S. technology review site CNET. Sales figures were not disclosed.
The Galaxy S3’s emergence as the best-selling smartphone in the U.S. came as consumers have held back their purchases of new smartphones as they wait for the new version of the iPhone expected to be unveiled next week.
Media reports said Apple has sent out invitations for a press event in San Fransisco on Sept. 12, raising expectations the company will roll out the much-anticipated iPhone 5.
Walkley, meanwhile, said Galaxy S3 sales continue to look strong amid weakening shipments in rival smartphone models made by HTC, Nokia and Research in Motion.
The Galaxy S3, which was globally released in late May, and the iPhone 4S are the flagship phones for Samsung Electronics and Apple, who are locked in a high-stakes patent war across four continents.
In the latest development, Apple added the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Tab tablet to its list of patent-infringing products following a U.S. federal jury verdict that awarded the Cupertino, California company US$1.05 billion in damages.
In addition to hearings in Europe that are expected to resume this week, the two companies are awaiting a U.S. judge’s ruling this month as well as a Dec. 6 hearing on Apple’s request to ban sales of eight Samsung devices at its home ground.
Outside the court, the two top smartphone makers have been beefing up efforts to target consumers with new products. In a move to grab the spotlight ahead of the iPhone 5 unveiling, Samsung Electronics rolled out the Galaxy Note 2 and the ATIV line, which run on Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone 8 operating systems, at the 2012 IFA trade fair.